Atlanta Apartment Residents Announce Rent Strike
Renters at The Reserve at Brookhaven cite unreasonable fees and unlivable conditions
By: Contra Fifeco
The strike is a response to warning notices that residents received on May 31, less than 24 hours before their rent payments are due. The notices warned of hundreds of dollars in outstanding fees for minor infractions, such as leaving a bicycle on a private porch. The notices stated that Fifeco Properties would not accept rental payments unless the fees were included, causing residents to fear the notices were intended to also serve as eviction notices.
Some residents attempted to pay the fees immediately but said they were unable to, as the leasing office was closed when they went to pay at 3 pm Friday.
Now, the residents say they won't pay the fees or rent until conditions in the apartments improve.
"My rent has almost doubled over four years, from $650 to $1200," said one resident who asked to remain anonymous. "Some of my neighbors had no working water for over a month, and one apartment had the roof cave in, but the buildings were never inspected." The residents are collecting a list of grievances against Fifeco, which includes failure to make timely repairs, not treating pest infestations, and creating unlivable conditions.
The residents are organizing a protest tonight at 6 pm outside the Fifeco leasing office at 1750 Briarwood Road, Atlanta, Ga., when residents will present their demands. These demands are that Fifeco drop the infraction fines, that they immediately make all necessary repairs, that they reimburse residents who paid for repairs themselves, and that they reimburse residents who had to stay at hotels due to lack of air conditioning in 95 degree weather.